Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bountiful wining and dining for Turkey Day

As the great soul song sang, "Just be thankful for what you've got." This week, I've got some Thanksgiving updates for you whether you want to dine in or take out. Plus, some upcoming wine tastings you'll want to know about.

First, here's an update on the hot cooking show I'm emceeing next week in Austin for the nice folks who do the interactive cookbooks for the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas. You can join the fun. There are still tickets available for the big "Chefs Under Fire" challenge in Austin on November 30th. 9 amateur chefs going head to head. Each cooking a recipe selected for them by either David Bull from Bolla, Kent Rathbun from Abacus, or Tyson Cole from UCHI. All three chefs judge the "Iron Chef" type competition. The winner walks away with much culinary booty and big bragging rights. It will be fun. We'll be taping the show in front of a "live audience" (you included, I hope). Here, I must insert my wife's favorite line in regards to "live audience", "Oh, that's opposed to the dead audience you had last time I guess?!?" Well anyway, it's a tough room at my house. So come join us in Austin. I can take the heat. Get details on tickets here:, or phone 512-970-3456. You can also email them at: It's going to fun just to see the amazing new facility on the UT Campus where the event will be held: The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

In case you haven't been WineTastic lately, they have some great wine events coming up and great wine tasting everyday. They're under new management, too. Old friend Terri Burney has taken over sommelier duties. She and her husband Don (who passed away) used to run Grand Tastings in Uptown. Go in and raise a glass for the holidays. Here's a sample of some activity on the way:

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 from 7-10PM and Saturday, December 5th, 2009 from 2-7PM. WineTastic pops the corks on some of the finest bubbly from champagne cellars such as Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Moet & Chandon, Mumms, Perrier Jouet, Charles Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Roederer, Schramsberg, Taittinger, Laurent Perrier, and Iron Horse to name a few. With more than 25 Champagnes and Sparkling wines from around the world to taste, you're sure to find some new holiday favorites. This is a great opportunity to stock up on your favorite Champagne and Sparkling wines for the holiday season! Think hostess gifts, holiday gifts, and holiday celebrations. Take advantage of our case discount pricing. A selection of cheeses and hors d'oeuvres will complement the selection.

Price: $40.00 non-member/$35.00 wine club member.

Holiday Tasting featuring Big Reds

December 10th and 12th

Big, Red Wine Tasting Event On Thursday December 10th and Saturday December 12th, WineTastic will offer some of the best in hard-to-find wines from a number of top shelf vineyards. The wines poured during this event are very small production, boutique wines and very hard to find. Whether you missed this tasting event in the past or if you attended the first Big, Red event, you are in for a treat! These small production, boutique wines will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don't miss the Holiday Big, Red Wine Tasting Event.

Price: $40.00, which also includes assorted cheeses from our importers and paired hors d'oeuvres (excludes tax and gratuity
WineTasting is located at 4140 Lemmon Ave, Suite 130 (at Douglas), Dallas, TX 75219

There are Thanksgiving specials galore. This one caught my eye: old friend and master chef Morris Salerno is hosting a Thanksgiving buffet at his two restaurants, The Grotto and Salerno's from 11 a.m. until 2. Reservations are available at both locations, The Grotto - 972-318-0515 (, Salerno's - 972-539-9534, ( Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.

And, if you'd rather bring the spread home, Cobb Switch Barbecue is doing the cooking for you. They're offering packages on whole smoked turkeys or hams with all the trimmings. Give them a call for more details, 214-483-3600.

If upscale dining is the answer for you---

Forget the pots and pans and make a reservation at Fearing’s at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas for Thanksgiving Day. The three course holiday menu will be served for both lunch and dinner: 11am-3pm and 5-8pm. For the first course choose from roasted butternut squash bisque, seared bay scallops, chicken fried Bob White Quail and more. For the second course enjoy a traditional turkey with a Texas twist featuring tortilla dressing and jalapeno cranberry relish or try an English Style glazed antelope. For dessert indulge in the famous Fearing’s dessert trio. For reservations, please call 214-922-4848.

Or, Chef David Bull (right) is saving you the trouble and serving up a decadent Thanksgiving spread for you and your family and friends. Make a reservation at Bolla on Thursday, Nov. 26th and indulge in four courses of deliciousness for only $65 per person. The first course offers a smoked pheasant salad, followed by a course of either sea scallops or lobster ravioli. The third course features a turkey breast and your choice of either banana bread pudding or pumpkin brulee for dessert. Call 214-871-7111 for reservations.

Remember, Savor Dallas tickets are a great holiday gift for the wine and food lover on your list. Get special prices on tickets through the holidays. Cheers! And happy Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hot chefs do a role reversal in Austin and Christy Rost hosts a PBS Thanksgiving

Ready, Fire, Cook! "Chefs Under Fire" hits Austin--check it out online or in person.

"Chefs Under Fire" is a turn the tables type "Iron Chef" competition that puts amateur chefs in the line of fire, so to speak, of three top chefs who have each been challengers on the foodie favorite TV show. This time, though, David Bull from Bolla (R), Kent Rathbun (L) from Abacus, and Tyson Cole from UCHI, are going to judge the aspiring chefs who will each be cooking a recipe selected for them by one of the pros. The scene is set for a lot of fun in Austin on November 30th. Join me if you can make it. I'll be hosting the evening at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas Campus. If you love a good food fight, this competition is for you. There is very limited seating for the special evening, so hurry before tickets are gone. Get more details about attending by clicking on "Chefs Under Fire" at the producer's website:, or phone 512-970-3456. You can also email them at:

Kudos are in order for a dear and talented friend, Christy Rost, who has hit the culinary big time in a big way. The lifestyle expert and television chef hosts a one-hour Thanksgiving special, "A Home for Christy Rost: Thanksgiving" on more than 100 public television stations and over 200 Create TV stations on Sunday November 22nd at 1 p.m.. That includes KERA-TV, Channel 13, the Dallas-Fort Worth PBS station. The Thanksgiving special was filmed at "Swan's Nest," the historic Breckenridge home more recently known as Revett Manor that Christy and her husband, Randy purchased three years ago from Glenn and Mary Campbell.

As Christy's press release says, "Memories are made around the family table, especially during the holidays. Families talk, laugh, and reminisce as they feast on course after course of treasured family recipes passed down through the generations."
Christy is making memories in her newly restored dream home. This historic 5,600-sq.-ft. home, built in 1898 as a wedding gift and named "Swan's Nest" by gold baron Ben Stanley Revett, sits high in the mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado. Again to the release: "A Home for Christy Rost: Thanksgiving artfully weaves holiday cooking in Christy's historic kitchen with home decorating how-to's, easy-to-replicate tablescapes and documentary-style highlights of Swan's Nest's extensive renovation, a process more than two years in the making, as well as the colorful history of Swan's Nest's flamboyant original owner."

Christy has worked hard for over 10 years to make her dream come true of having a nationally syndicated TV food show. Way back in the last century, when I hosted the "KRLD Restaurant Show with Jim White", Christy appeared with us every other week with a new and fun recipe or home entertaining idea. She has hosted numerous cooking demos for us at the "Jim White Celebrity Kitchen", and sent many a trusty recipe our way for God bless her tenacity. Her efforts have paid off. I hope this is the start of "something big", and that everything continues to "come up Christy". Break a leg, my friend, I'll be tuned in on Sunday November 22nd, at 1 p.m. on Channel 13. I may DVR, though, and skip the pledge breaks.

If you love great Bordeaux, (and what's not to like?), join our friends at Centennial for a very special wine dinner event at Bolsa on Monday November 23rd. Centennial's Fine Wine Buyer Lance Storer hosts the dinner featuring 2005 Bordeaux:

Chateau Le Doyenne, 1er Cotes de Bordeaux 2005
Chateau La Prade, Cotes De Francs 2005
Cotes De Baleau, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2005
Chateau Doisy Daene, Sauternes 2005

Lance knows his stuff. He is a graduate of the Court of Master Sommeliers (Level One), and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (Level Three). He is preparing to enroll in the Institute of Masters of Wine program, the most prestigious in the wine industry. In the process of his education and his job at Centennial he tastes more than 6,000 wines each years. Taste four very special ones with him at the exciting dinner. For reservations call Bolsa at 214-367.9367. A very fun place that takes me back to my Oak Cliff roots (when nothing this good was around, and no one knew any better).

The Bolsa team is comprised of Oak Cliff residents Chris Zielke and Christopher Jeffers who have partnered with Alexander Urrunago and Royce Ring. The four share a common vision to create a laid-back little place that attracts a wide range of local folks for a variety of occasions. The team has enlisted local Chef Graham Dodds to lead the kitchen. Chef Dodds prefers to work with locally grown organic ingredients and will handcraft a delicious four course “carte du jour” for the dinner.

Bon app├ętit!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Let me know. We'll share your ideas.

Happy dining,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wining and dining news you can use from single malts to San Antonio

Savor a night of Ardbeg at the
Second Floor Restaurant

Join us for a dandy tasting of some of the world's finest single malt Scotches on Tuesday November 17th, as "The KRLD Dinner Club with Jim White" and our good friends at Centennial Fine Wine and Spirits roll out another great event. Taste what many call the "smokiest" and "peatiest" single malts from Ardbeg Distillery. Their senior brand ambassador Davinia Small leads the tasting at the wonderful Second Floor Restaurant in the Westin Galleria Hotel. Chef Scott Gottlich will prepare an ample supply of heavy appetizers that will pair with the wonderful elixir of the gods.


Almonds & Pistachios
With Truffles and Parmesan
Tasting of Regional Cheeses
With Traditional Accompaniments
Poached Shrimp
Chilled Celery Root Soup and Beet Jellie
Salmon Rillette
Watercress and Orange Honey
Arugula, Blue Cheese and Golden Raisins
Creme Brulee
Chocolate Espresso with Raspberries

This very special tasting is limited to 40 seats only. The price is only $25 per person; incredible to get to try these great single malts and Chef Gottlich's wonderful food.
For more information, or to schedule a reservation for this
Spectacular event, please contact Jason Henry at 972-450-2978
or email him at

Opa! The Fort Worth Greek Festival is back November 13th through 15th. Have fun--and great food--at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2020 N.W. 21st Street in Fort Worth. Call 817-626-5578 for more details.

There's a great food and wine event going on this week in San Antonio. Please read on for more information on the delightful "New World Wine and Food Festival". A perfect destination if you happen to be around San Antonio next week, or certainly worth making a special trip! Enjoy! And, if you attend, please let us know how you enjoyed it.

A week of food and wine awaits you in San Antonio November 8-15, 2009. More than 25 events make up the San Antonio New World Wine & Food Festival with something for every taste and every budget.

Three of the most popular events of the festival include:
The Best of Mexico
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Vault, 209 N. Presa Street
7:30 p.m.

The Grand Testing
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Grotto at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
7:00 p.m.

Totally Tejas (that’s Totally Texas y’all)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Rio Cibolo Ranch
1:00 p.m.

For more information on this year’s New World Wine & Food Festival, visit or call 210-822-9555.

Aurora has a Sunday brunch on November 15th. What a great way to start the week! Call for reservations: 214-528-9400. And, Avner Samuel has another of his almost famous cooking classes coming up November 21st. The class and four-course lunch with wine pairings is $95, and appropriately, chef's theme is "Holiday Collection".

Here's more good news for folks who want to dine out on Thanksgiving. Steve Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge is offering a traditional Thanksgiving menu--roast turkey and all the trimmings--along with their regular menu from noon until 8 p.m. The Turkey Day spread is $23 for adults and $14 for kids. Call them at 972-596-7100 for reservations.

On behalf of our friends at Share Our Strength (the national counterpart to the North Texas Food Bank), I'd like to offer you these ways of helping with childhood hunger this holiday season. Give thanks for our multitude of blessings.

Send Share Your Season Holiday Ecards
Make a donation to Share Our Strength on behalf of your friends, family or colleagues, and send a holiday ecard, letting them know that they're helping hungry children. Share Your Season ecards will add extra meaning to your holiday gifts this season.

Tell Your Friends about Share Our Strength
The only thing better than being a part of the Share Our Strength community is joining with a friend. Encourage your friends to do something about childhood hunger and to purchase holiday ecards.

Join Our Online Communities
Let your friends know about our holiday campaign to end childhood hunger. Follow Share Our Strength on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook, and be the first to know about upcoming news and events -- then share it with your friends.

By sharing your season in one or more of these ways, you will help provide kids with the healthy food they need every day so they won't have to worry about hunger.

Every child has the right to grow up happy and healthy. Thank you for doing your part this holiday season.

I hope the spirit of the season is filling your heart with generosity.
All best!